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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 56-5-3815 SO AS TO CREATE THE OFFENSE OF CARELESS DRIVING AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES; TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2920, RELATING TO RECKLESS DRIVING, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT RECKLESS DRIVING INCLUDES DISTRACTED DRIVING OR INATTENTIVE DRIVING THAT INCLUDES TEXTING WHILE DRIVING WHEN BODILY INJURY OCCURS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-720, RELATING TO THE ASSESSMENT OF POINTS AGAINST A PERSON'S DRIVING RECORD FOR CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLE VIOLATIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT POINTS MUST BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE DRIVING RECORD OF A PERSON CONVICTED OF CARELESS DRIVING.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 31, Chapter 5, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 56-5-3815. A person who operates a motor vehicle while distracted, or in an inattentive manner which includes texting while driving is guilty of careless driving, a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction must be fined not more than five hundred dollars and have two points assessed against his driving record."
SECTION 2. Section 56-5-2920 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-5-2920. Any person who drives any vehicle in such a manner as to indicate either a wilful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, or while distracted or in an inattentive manner which shall include texting while driving when bodily injury occurs is guilty of reckless driving. The Department of Motor Vehicles, upon receiving satisfactory evidence of the conviction, of the entry of a plea of guilty or the forfeiture of bail of any person charged with a second and subsequent offense for the violation of this section shall forthwith suspend the driver's license of any such person for a period of three months. Only those offenses which occurred within a period of five years including and immediately preceding the date of the last offense shall constitute prior offenses within the meaning of this section. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, entry of a plea of guilty or forfeiture of bail, be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days."
SECTION 3. Section 56-1-720 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 56-1-720. There is established a point system for the evaluation of the operating record of persons to whom a license to operate motor vehicles has been granted and for the determination of the continuing qualifications of these persons for the privileges granted by the license to operate motor vehicles. The system shall have as its basic element a graduated scale of points assigning relative values to the various violations in accordance with the following schedule:
Reckless driving 6
Passing stopped school bus 6
Hit-and-run, property damages only 6
Driving too fast for conditions, or speeding:
(1) No more than 10 m.p.h. above the
posted limits 2
(2) More than 10 m.p.h. but less than 25
m.p.h. above the posted limits 4
(3) 25 m.p.h. or above the posted limits 6
Disobedience of any official traffic control
Disobedience to officer directing traffic 4
Failing to yield right of way 4
Driving on wrong side of road 4
Passing unlawfully 4
Turning unlawfully 4
Driving through or within safety zone 4
Failing to give signal or giving improper
signal for stopping, turning, or suddenly
decreased speed 4
Shifting lanes without safety precaution 2
Improper dangerous parking 2
Following too closely 4
Failing to dim lights 2
Operating with improper lights 2
Operating with improper brakes 4
Operating a vehicle in unsafe condition 2
Driving in improper lane 2
Improper backing 2
Careless driving 2"
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on February 27, 2013 at 10:56 AM